Legislative Alert - December 30, 2015: FMCSA Testing, LifeLock Settles & Ban the Box in Philly
FMCSA Reducing Random Testing Rate
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) just announced that it will lower the random testing rate for controlled substances. Starting on January 1, 2016 DOT regulated industries will only have to do random drug tests for 25 percent of the average number of driver positions - that’s down from the current rate of 50 percent. Federal law allows the drop if there are two consecutive calendar years that show the positive rate for controlled substances is less than one percent. Both 2011 and 2012 had less than a 1 percent positive rate, but the Acting Administrator declined to make a change until now.
LifeLock Pays Up for Crossing the FTC
LifeLock must pay $100 million to settle a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit. The company, which promises to protect customers from identity theft, was accused of failing to protect customers’ personal information, falsely advertising its level of security, failing to provide alerts and not maintaining records. The company says the settlement “neither confirms nor denies the allegations.”
According to the settlement, $68 million will go to customers who filed a class action lawsuit against the company and $32 million will go to pay back consumers who filed complaints with attorneys general in 35 states. This was all settled back in 2010, but the FTC filed contempt charges claiming LifeLock violated a court order by falsely advertising that it protected consumers’ sensitive data, failing to establish a comprehensive information security program and failing to meet various record keeping requirements. When all is said and done, this is expected to cost the company $113 million and a recent crash in its stock price.
New Jersey Might Ban Credit Checks
The New Jersey Assembly Labor Committee is trying, yet again, to keep employers from running credit checks on their employees and applicants. Bill A2298 is essentially the same as two previous bills that failed in 2010 and 2012. It prohibits employers from obtaining a credit report unless it is required by law for a particular position or the employer has reasonable belief that the employee has engaged in specific financial activity in violation of the law. Employers would be allowed to access the information if it is a bona fide occupational qualification for a particular position.
Philly Toughens Up Ban the Box
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter signed off on an expansion of the city’s Ban the Box law. Under the changes, the law now applies to any business with at least one employee, and employers cannot do any kind of background check until after a conditional offer of employment is made. Before the changes, companies needed at least 10 employees and could look into an applicant’s background after conducting an interview. If there is any adverse action, applicants would have a full 10 days to correct the report and 300 days to file a complaint with the city. City government offices will be allowed to name “qualified sensitive positions” that would be able to disqualify applicants with certain convictions.